10 MMA Stars Who Fought Back From Life-Threatening Illnesses

Robert Whittaker

In barely the space of a year, Robert Whittaker found himself in hospital suffering from two different potentially life-threatening ailments.

Whittaker had been scheduled to fight Luke Rockhold for the interim middleweight title at UFC 221 in February of 2018, but had to pull out after suffering from a staph infection to his stomach, but a subsequent update from Dana White revealed the infection had become even more serious.

“From what I understand, it wasn’t treated properly and started to eat away parts of his organs,” White said. “He’s in serious condition … Hopefully, it turns around quick, but that stuff is life-threatening if not treated.” 

Luckily Whittaker did recover and went on to defeat Yoel Romero, but a year later in February of 2019, Whittaker was forced out of another title fight against Kelvin Gastelum on short-notice after suffering from a freak, and potentially fatal ailment – an internal hernia of the intestine combined with a twisted and collapsed bowel.

“His bowel and intestines poked through a hole,” White explained after Whittaker was rushed to hospital suffering from intense abdominal pain.

White then revealed that if he’d fought like that Whittaker could have died, but again ‘The Reaper’ showed his toughness by making a full recovery and has since got back into the Octagon against Israel Adesanya in October.

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